Last year, on my birthday, it hit me that I was another year older and still single. I wasn't just single, I wasn't meeting new guys or dating anyone. I have always wanted to be a mom and I realized that at this point in my life it was more important for me to be a mom than to be a wife. So, I decided not to let the fact that I'm still single stop me from being a mom.
I pretty much knew from the get go that artificial insemination was not for me. I didn't want to be pregnant alone. I also knew, thanks to my years as a social worker and child advocate, that adopting thru the foster care system was not something I wanted to do. I don't think my heart could take it. There was something about International Adoption that felt right. With the complete support of my family and friends, I started looking into it.
I knew a couple of people at work who had adopted from China so I decided that I would start with them. I soon learned that not one, but two of my co-workers were in the process of adopting from China. I called my friend L and she was so amazing. She shared all the info she had and offered to help any way that she could. Before I knew it, I was on the waiting list for a baby. All I had to do for this to happen was fill out one page and fax it to US Asian Affairs. Then, they said, I had to wait until I was high enough on the waiting list to start my paperwork. Sadly, little time passed before it was announced that China was closing to singles. My friend L had been in the process so long that she was just waiting to be matched. My other friend, D, was on the waiting list like me, but she was high enough to still qualify. I was too far down the list to proceed. Bummer, I thought. Now what?
I have some friends who adopted a little boy from Russia so I started looking into that. Everything sounded good except the travel. You have to make two separate trips which total over a month and I knew there was no way I could take that much time off from work before I even had the child.
I remembered that my best friend E had a friend who had adopted from Guatemala several years earlier. We got in touch via email and she talked me thru the process. Actually, Guatemala sounded great because the babies are younger, it's a short flight to Guatemala, you only have to stay for about a week and the wait times didn't seem too long. I started researching agencies and found one that I liked that is located in NC. Then I joined a few listserves for people adopting from Guatemala. It was then that I learned about all of the turmoil going on with Guatemalan adoptions right now. I decided to start my home study with a local agency that I used to work with as a social worker and at CASA. (More on this in a future entry) Eventually I came to the decision that the process of adopting is stressful enough and I didn't want to deal with the country possibly shutting down to adoptions so I decided to choose yet another country. Since I had already signed with a placement agency, I had to look at what other countries they had available for singles. That's how I got to Vietnam.
Looking back, I'm not sure why I didn't consider Vietnam in the first place. Probably because I didn't know anyone who had adopted from there. Now, however, thanks to the good ol' Internet, I have a huge circle of cyber friends who have either adopted or are in the process of adopting from Vietnam. They are a great source of information and support! In fact, if it weren't for them, it never would have occurred to me to start a blog.
So, that's how I made the decision to adopt and to adopt from Vietnam.